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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-06-07

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM: EU members decide on Ankara's negotiating chapters
  • [02] Annual PSEKA conference gets underway
  • [03] American Chamber to the EU briefed on Cyprus' EU Presidency
  • [04] Education Ministry to host EU meeting on training

  • [01] FM: EU members decide on Ankara's negotiating chapters

    The responsibility of opening and closing negotiating chapters in Turkey's membership talks rests exclusively with EU member states, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis stressed on Thursday.

    She also pointed out that "the positive agenda on the EU-Turkey relations is under no circumstances related to the process of opening or closing negotiating chapters in Ankara's accession course."

    The opening and closing of negotiating chapters, in Turkey's membership talks, is the sole responsibility of the member states of the Union and all related decisions are taken unanimously, the Minister pointed out, in response to recent comments by the Turkish Minister of European Affairs Egemen Bagis on positive agenda and the Cypriot Presidency of the Council of the EU.

    "In this regard, the General Affairs Council of the EU, on December 5, confirmed that the positive agenda should support the negotiation process, in line with the Negotiating Framework and the relevant Council conclusions", she underlined, in an official statement, issued here today.

    Markoullis stressed that both the Council of the EU and the European Council have called on Turkey to respect the institutional role of the Presidency of the EU Council and therefore, she said, "Bagis' public statements and attitude are empty of substance and constitute a mere repetition of rhetoric that has been clearly rejected by the European Union and its institutions".

    "The position of the EU is clear and unambiguous and there should be no misinterpretation", she added.

    Finally, the Minister noted that the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU will treat Turkey, a candidate for EU membership, with the same impartiality and the same methodology and practice applied to all other candidate states.

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs also underlined that the key for progress in its accession negotiations continues to lie exclusively with Turkey itself, through the fulfillment of its contractual obligations.

    Cyprus, an EU member since 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third, is going to assume the EU Presidency on July 1st for a period of 6 months.

    Turkey which aspires to join the EU does not recognize Cyprus and said that it will have no relations with the Republic during the Presidency.

    [02] Annual PSEKA conference gets underway

    The 28th Annual Cyprus and Hellenic Leadership Conference got underway here Wednesday, with speeches by International Coordinating Committee "Justice for Cyprus" PSEKA President Philip Christopher, and leaders of organizations of the Greek American community and Greek and Cypriots living in Canada and Britain.

    Over 100 delegates were briefed on developments in the Cyprus problem and in Greece by Cypriot Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou, the Ambassadors of Cyprus in Washington Pavrols Anastasiades and the UN Nicos Emiliou and the Greek Ambassador Vassilis Kaskarelis, whom the conference honoured for his long service to the Greek diplomatic service and Hellenism. The conference also honored the American Ambassador in Athens Daniel Smith.

    In his speech Philip Christopher said the biggest danger for Cyprus comes from the influx of illegal Turkish settlers. He informed delegates about two resolutions, promoted before the US Congress and the Senate, which refer to the issue of illegal settlers and Turkish threats against the Republic of Cyprus and its sovereign rights within its Exclusive Economic Zone.

    [03] American Chamber to the EU briefed on Cyprus' EU Presidency

    A delegation of the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham EU), visiting Cyprus in view of the Presidency of the Council of the EU to begin July 1st, was briefed here today on the Presidency priorities and in particular those that fall under the competency of the Ministry of Commerce.

    Speaking to the press after the briefing, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoklis Sylikiotis stressed the need for the EU to take measures to promote growth and tackle unemployment in member states, pointing out that these measures should not in any case abolish the European model of social inclusion.

    He also said that during Cyprus' presidency, the start of negotiations on a trade agreement between EU and the US will be on the agenda.

    [04] Education Ministry to host EU meeting on training

    EU education and training policies will be the focus of discussions at the first meeting organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus within the context of the forthcoming presidency of the EU Council.

    The meeting will be held on 7 and 8 June at the International Conference center ``Filoxenia`` in Nicosia and will host representatives from member states and officials from the European Commission. The meeting will focus on the overview of the results of the European Semester, with emphasis on the key messages of the recommendations for each member state in the fields of education and training.

    The recommendations, announced by the European Commission on May 30, are the result of the process of evaluating the contribution of each member state in implementing the strategic framework in education and training known as ``Education and Training 2020`` (ET 2020).

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